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March 1921


Author Affiliations

Professor of Clinical Surgery, Washington University Medical School ST. LOUIS

Arch Surg. 1921;2(2):338-346. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1921.01110050156008

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Up to about 1880 it was generally believed that midline congenital fistula of the neck might be due to tracheal maldevelopment, but according to the well established doctrine of today, they are supposed never to be of tracheal origin. If one studies the subject in any of the larger bibliographic reference works, he is impressed by the comparatively large number of reported cases of so-called congenital tracheal fistula. On consulting the articles referred to, however, one becomes aware that the error of referring these fistulas to tracheal maldevelopment persists only by virtue of the titles of the various articles. As a matter of fact, within three years after Dzondi (1829) first created the term tracheal fistula, Ascherson recognized the error; but in correcting it, fell into a somewhat similar one by assuming that all midline cervical fistulas communicated with the pharynx. In 1864, Heusinger coined the phrase branchial fistulas to

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